Richard E. Neal: We face serious challenges, and our work is not done (copy)

U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, says a new round of pandemic relief is likely to reach Americans by early April.

Financial relief could begin flowing to eligible residents in the Berkshires — and across the country — by the beginning of April, said U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal.

Neal joined Gov. Charlie Baker at a press conference Monday, when the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee outlined some of what’s inside the proposed $1.9 trillion federal COVID-19 relief package.

A budget resolution that paves the way for the relief package passed the Senate along party lines Friday, when Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote. Officials aim to get the package over the finish line by the middle of March, Neal said.

Richard Neal sitting at desk (copy)

U. S. Congressman Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, joined Gov. Charlie Baker at a press conference Monday.

The government is “going to make good on our promise of $2,000 checks” by “supplementing those based on what we did back in December, with an additional $1,400,” said Neal.

Neal said those eligible could see benefits hit their bank accounts by April 1.

Additionally, Neal said the plan is to include provisions to increase support to lower-income families, while devoting $130 billion for reopening schools and providing increased unemployment insurance.

“The unemployment insurance supplement will also be embraced once again,” said Neal, for “between $300 and $400 additionally each week.”

Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito will join U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal for a press conference to highlight the need for additional federal funding to support the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19.

Amanda Burke can be reached at, on Twitter @amandaburkec and 413-496-6296.

Cops and Courts Reporter

Amanda Burke is Cops and Courts Reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. An Ithaca, New York native, she previously worked at The Herald News of Fall River and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise.